Belfast-based, style loving mum of 3. Fashion, Lifestyle, Food & Fitness

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Beauty Week #4 Youngblood Mineral Foundation

After many years of trying, I believe I've found the holy grail of foundations. A bold statement I know but Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation is ticking all my boxes - coverage, colour, ease of application and natural & active ingredients. I should declare up front that I've not been paid to write this post - Youngblood was a lucky find thanks to a suggestion by Jenny, who manages Destination Skin in Belfast and who invited me in to get colour matched.
To give a bit of background on the brand (from their website), Youngblood is a mineral cosmetics line made of natural, finely ground minerals from the earth — without any of the common irritants (including chemicals, dyes and preservatives) found in conventional makeup.
It was created by former medical aesthetician, Pauline Youngblood, who was inspired to help her patients with severely traumatised skin from harsh laser treatments, acne, rosacea and cosmetic surgeries. Such patients often take up to six months before their skin returns to normal, and Pauline wanted to create a make up product that would cover the skin, while simultaneously allowing it to breathe and heal. Hence it's a great product for all skins - not just those in recovery.

Now powder mineral foundation has been around for a while but I've not found it to work well for me. I'm a liquid foundation girl every time and I prefer to use my fingers to apply, not a brush. So I was very excited to find a liquid foundation with the benefits of minerals.
From the first time I tried it, I knew it was going to work well from a coverage and colour point of view. Then I read about the ingredients, including the special blend of rare Reduced Salt Deep Sea Water, botanicals and more than 20 ocean minerals to soothe and revitalise your skin. Bonus!
Price-wise, it's in or around the same level as a premium cosmetic counter foundation from the likes of Chanel or Estee Lauder but with far superior ingredients.
I also purchased the fixing powder while I was there - at £20, it's well priced and lovely to use also:
I would urge you to get colour matched if you can...foundation is not easy to buy online. I ended up trying 3 different colour samples before I was happy...the colour coming out of the bottle wasn't enough of a guide - it needed to be applied. If you're local, Jenny at House of Fraser Destination Skin will be happy to help you. If you're further afield, there are lots of Destination Skin clinics across the UK - details on this link. For anyone in Ireland, there's a Facebook page with details of events and launches on this link.

Ax
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Monday, 26 October 2015

Beauty Week #3 Vita Liberata Facial Self-Tan

I love fake tan and feel so much better with a bit of a glow - all year round. It's long been a conflict of mine - the desire for a colour versus the questionable ingredients....especially on the face, where the skin is so different to the rest of your body.

In my experience, facial specific tans are disappointing in terms of the amount of colour they give and also the drying effect they have on the skin so when Vita Liberata sent me two of their facial products to try, I was a bit sceptical as to how good they would be. I was wrong - they are seriously impressive.

Here are the two items I've been testing now for about 2 months:
Vita Liberata Trystal Self Tanning Bronzing Minerals & Self Tanning Night Moisture Mask 

First up, both of these products have been rated ‘0' by Think Dirty, the independent rating system which gives a simple overview of the health impacts associated with products and their ingredients on a scale from 0 – 10, 0 being the best (cleanest) and 10 being the worst (dirtiest). Now this is impressive for tan products and definitely ticks my boxes for ingredient quality.

The mask was the one I used first and continue to use about 3 time weekly.
The consistency is a little heavier than a lotion but it has a little bit of a primer feel to it too, so it does feel more like a mask when applying.
The smell is tricky to describe but it's not unpleasant at all - not a perfumed smell but not a tan smell either. But the best bit is that it's full of skin benefits as well as tan - Organic Sunflower Seed delivers Vitamin A, C and D for calming and protection, while Tocopherol protects against free radical damage and Apple softens fine lines and wrinkles.
Next day, there is definitely a tan visible. So many facial tanners are too light but this gives a good colour - not just a glow...and definitely allows for less make-up. It's most certainly the best facial tanner I've ever used by a considerable margin.

The Bronzing Minerals come in a loose powder form along with an excellent Kabuki brush (super impressive as so often, free brushes you get with products are useless).
This loose mineral powder combines an instant pure mineral bronze colour with long lasting self tan results for a beautiful, medium tan that lasts for days. The main guidance for using this product is that the skin is tacky when applying so you apply it over moisture or foundation, to activate the tanning effect.
I've used this as my bronzer since I received it, wearing over foundation on my cheeks/forehead etc. It's complimented my mineral foundation (more info in my next post) really well and my skin loves it. I will say that wearing it over foundation does minimise the longer term self-tanning effect you would get if you used it on bare skin but I don't mind that as I've a bit of colour from the mask already. I'm really using this bronzer as a contouring tool.
The smell is something that I wanted to mention as I've not used loose mineral foundation before so I was used to more perfumed powders. This definitely has a metallic scent going on - not unpleasant at all but if you also already use perfumed products, you might not expect that.

These two products have hugely improved my facial skincare routine. Previous to this, I was using entirely clean products on my face - apart from facial tan and bronzer. I suspect some of my break-outs were directly resulting from this as my skin has been used to having nourishing quality products up to a point and then I was undoing lots of that good in the tanning process.

And the best bit is if you're interested in trying these products, there's a great offer on at the moment where you can get both together for £55 - a saving of £10.
Lastly, Vita Liberata is actually a local brand, founded by Northern Ireland entrepreneur Alyson Hogg - an inspirational award winning businesswoman. You can read all about why she started up the company on Alyson's own blog here.

My next post will feature the holy grail of beauty products - foundation. I've found my ultimate one and it's mineral based, clean and had gorgeous coverage. What more could I ask for?!

Ax


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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Beauty Week #2 Epionce Skincare

During the summer I reviewed some facial SPF products and the one that came out top was the Epionce Ultra Shield SPF 50. With natural ingredients and botanical extracts, it ticked all my skincare boxes but it also was gorgeous to use, perfect under make up and with no awful white residue. I had to buy it and I've been using it since.

As it turned out, my review was spotted by the UK distributor of Epionce skincare, a Dr Mervyn Patterson from the Woodford Medical Clinic, who happens to be from good old NI also. Dr Mervyn was very keen to tell me more about the Epionce brand and the other products in the range and I visited the Woodford Clinic in Belfast in August to hear more.

Without getting too much into the science side of things, Epionce is unique because instead of sitting on the skin surface like most products, they deliver a blend of active botanatical ingredients that deeply penetrate the skin, resulting in stronger healthier barrier that helps resist the effects of ageing to reveal smooth more radiant skin.

The whole range is paraben and fragrance free and has been proven to reduce acne and rosacea flare ups and provide relief from the symptoms of eczema. There have been 14 published independent clinical trials and the products have been proven to prevent and reverse visible signs of ageing with results statistically equivalent to prescription products.

So since early August, I've been using the following Epionce products:
  Gentle Foaming Cleanser
Lytic TX - Skin Retexturising Treatment

and Renewal Facial Lotion,
all along with my usual Ultrashield SPF.

Despite all the science, I was still determined to test the products for 3 months before commenting on them as skin can change for lots of reasons - sun, hormones, time of the year etc. But there is no doubt that my skin LOVES the range. I have had zero breakouts since I started using it. That was a huge indicator for me as monthly, I'll always have one or two humdingers to remind me what's brewing. Not a single solitary spot has appeared on my face in 3 months. Ageing wise, it's harder to determine the benefits. I know my skin looks great and that I've had several people ask me what skincare I'm using. The skin feels smoother and there are fewer finer lines but nothing that I can do much of a before and after on being honest. All I know is that my skin is happy - it's balanced, not looking as greasy on the t-zone as it would have before and I'm wearing less make-up as a result.

I have already re-purchased 1 of these products...in preparation for it running out. Hands up, they're not cheap. But they're an investment in my skin and a way of holding off more invasive treatments (which cost significantly more!). I've been staggering the re-purchases so as to minimise the impact and also, they last for ages as you need so little of each...I've still got all three original items with plenty left, 3 months on.

The entire Epionce range can be bought directly from the Woodford Medical Clinics nationwide, Destination Skin at House of Fraser or any salon stocking the products - perfect if you'd like to talk to someone before purchasing. If you are happy to buy online or are re-purchasing, they can be bought on the Beauty Products Online website on this link.

Ax

Disclaimer - I was gifted a couple of Epionce skincare products but bought my own SPF cream and have since re-purchased from the range. I was not obliged to blog about it, nor have I been paid to do so. All the words are my own except for some of the 'science bits'. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog
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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Beauty Week #1 Best Hot Cloth Cleansers

Starting my beauty week with the first building block of skincare - cleansing - and my favourite mode of cleansing - hot cloth. I've tried them all, cream, liquid, foaming, wipes and micellar waters, but I always go back to hot cloth cleansing. It's the only one that makes my skin feel completely clean and refreshed. Over the past couple of years, I've tried many different hot cloth cleansers so I wanted to share with you on this post, the ones I use most frequently.

I'm not featuring Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish for two reasons. Firstly, I'm not a huge fan and secondly the company use parabens in too many of their other products and therefore I feel their 'natural' strap line is a little misleading. There's an interesting blog post about this here if you'd like to read more. So if you are a Liz Earle fan, I urge you to try my first option. It's far superior from an ingredients perspective and actually works out less expensive too.
The texture is not unlike Cleanse & Polish but it smells divine and the accompanying facecloth is a lovely texture. A couple of pumps is plenty for normal make-up removal and the ingredients are completely natural. I use this to take face paints etc off the kids skin too...it's so gentle.

The next few options are balm cleansers - so they have an oilier texture but don't be afraid of this. Oil attracts oil so they work really well on normal/dry skins. The first product is from Temple Spa and is my favourite of the balm options...it smells gorgeous:

In The Beginning - Deep Cleansing Melt - £28 for 60g
You only need a tiny amount of this so it does last well. It comes with a plastic spatula to prevent any bacteria getting into the tub from your hands. It has got tiny exfoliating beads in it that burst while you're using it - so there's a slight scrub effect from it. Very minimal though so it's fine for daily use.

The second balm cleanser I love is from Neal's Yard - another great option for the ingredient purists:
NYR Organic - Wild Rose Beauty Balm - £38 for 50g
A complete treat for rose lovers, this is more than a cleanser - it's a destressing treatment! It can be used to cleanse with a flannel as per the other products but it's also amazing for sore skin, dry patches and with the rose extracts, it's particularly good for skin with rosacea. I have a few samples at home so drop me a line if you'd like to try it. I am a (very unproductive) NYR consultant - I just don't have time for it at the moment but I still do orders a few times a year for my regular customers.

Finally, a few less expensive options for you. M&S have recently developed the PURE range and this cleanser is a great budget option:
Pure Daily Skincare Moisture Plus Miracle Balm - £9.50 for 85g
It's not got the grittiness of the Neal's Yard and Temple Spa so it's not my favourite for that reason - it definitely feels oilier to use. But it does the job and also doubles up nicely as a dry skin rescue cream. No cloth included in this one (the others all come with a muslin or flannel).

And the final one I've road-tested and can recommend is the Boots Botanics Cleansing Balm, which I've mentioned before on the blog a couple of times. It's on offer at the moment too!
Botanics 97% Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm - £5.99 for 65ml (usually £8.99)
I use this one lots when I'm having a leaner month and the only thing I don't like about it is the smell. Personal choice there - it does the job at the end of the day!

There are tons of other options and the best bit about the oil balm textured products is that they are all paraben free (parabens are only used in creamy cleansers). Lisa Eldridge has a nice video featuring some of them on this link if you'd like to find out more - zip forward about 2 minutes 30 to get to the nitty gritty.

So I'm back tomorrow with the next stage of my skincare routine to include my foaming cleanser of choice and the anti-ageing creams I use daily.

Ax


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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Packing for BOSTON & School Gate Style Beauty Week

It's B-day so it's just a quick packing post that I thought might be helpful. I'm away for 6-days with the choir and we are singing every day (in black) so I've gone for a super simple 90% black capsule....hoping it works for the down-time also. Here's what's in the suitcase:

1 x black jumpsuit
1 x black skirt
1 x black dress
1 x black skinny jeans
4 x black tops
2 x grey knits
1 x white long sleeved top
1 x Ultra Light down jacket
1 x going out top (for our final night!)
1 x mid-heel court (for evening performances)
1 x going out high heel
1 x flat black brogues (for day-time performances & sightseeing)
2 x gym outfits (eek - might be the duds of the packing but I am hoping to walk in the Common each day with some of the fit choir members)
1 x running trainers
2 x choir cardigans
2 x choir branded t-shirt
3 x sparkly necklaces

PJ's/Underwear/Tights/Mini Cosmetics
Charger/Adaptor/Battery Block/Books
Black Bucket Bag as cabin baggage (with cross-body inside for day-to-day)

And I gave my new trainers and coat a dry run yesterday to make sure they would work for me on the flight. I'm wearing different jeans and a choir branded shirt but apart from that, this is pretty much what I'm wearing to travel in:
Denim Jeans - Gap
Trainers - Adidas Superstars
Black Coat - NEW to me (from Deja Vu)
So yes, I've bitten the bullet and bought some Adidas Superstar trainers (along with a million other bloggers!)
and I wore them out this afternoon (after taking the labels off!) for a meeting at my son's school followed by Long's Fish & Chips for tea as a treat! It's a Belfast institution and it's been so long since we've been.
So I'll be on my way by the time you read this - you can follow my antics over on Instagram if you would like to see what I'm getting up to.

While I'm away, I've pre-prepared some blog posts and scheduled them to publish during the week.
They are a bit off-piste for me as they're about beauty - an area I don't touch on often but that's because I'm incredibly fussy about what I buy and use on my skin. I won't use just any old product on my skin and eschew anything made by the large cosmetic companies like Lancome, Garnier, Olay etc...they're FULL of chemicals, perfumes and empty promises. I urge you to google some of the ingredients if you are a regular user. They might give short term results but we have no idea what the longer term impact will be of layering parabens, petroleum and perfumes on our skin every day.

Additionally, when I find something that works, I stick with it. I would make the worst beauty blogger! All of the items I'm featuring have been tried and tested for a few months and most importantly, emptied and re-purchased (or about to be).

So sit back and switch on from tomorrow....I hope you enjoy my reviews and as always, ask if you've any questions.

Ax
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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Jake Shoes - Online Shoe Shopping Heaven!

I was recently approached by the team behind Jake Shoes, a family run shoe store celebrating 40 years in business. They stock a fantastic range of brands in-store in their Manchester and Stockport shops but for the rest of us outside of those areas - they have one hell of a website - a mecca for shoe lovers everywhere!

Keen to spread the word about their online offering, they asked would my twins (by any chance) like a pair of winter boots each? What an amazing treat!

After much deliberation (and mum steering them away from the less school-appropriate options) the girls agreed on some Timberland Skyhaven long boots. But ever wanting to be different, they chose different colours - and just a few days after our order went in, they arrived.
It's always tricky buying shoes online for kids, I know, but as well as free delivery for orders over £40, there's a full 14 day return facility offered. I also had researched online about these boots and knew they came up a little wider than some brands - perfect for my girls as one of them has a high instep and needs this room across the front of her foot. There's about a half size between the girls' feet but I ordered the same size for both girls as there's a bit of room with boots and in the winter, it's no harm to pop on an extra pair of socks. (For info, the girls wear a 13/13.5 in their school shoes and I ordered the boots in a size 1)

So it was such a bonus when they arrived and both pairs fitted perfectly. Even more of a bonus was the fact that they both LOVED them! They were straight on their feet and we dashed out to make the most of the light that was left.
Timberland Skyhaven Tall Calf Boots - Black
Timberland Skyhaven Tall Calf Boots - Brown
With a well grooved sole, these boots are going to be brilliant for colder days. They're rugged but not overly so, meaning the girls are happy to wear them with skirts and dresses as well as leggings and jeans.
Do pop over to take a look at the Jake Shoes website and give them some SGS love on their Facebook page - I think you'll find the whole family well catered for. Not only do they have a great selection of kids winter boots and shoes, there's a fab range of ladies' and mens' footwear too with well known brands like Ugg, Hush Puppies, Birkenstock and Converse, to mention just a few and it's good to know you're supporting a family run UK business too.

Ax
Disclaimer: I have to extend a huge thank you to the Jake Shoes team for supplying these boots to the girls free of charge. It makes a huge difference to the household budget as it's no fun buying multiple pairs of leather boots so close to Christmas. I was not obliged to blog about them, nor was I paid to do so. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.



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Monday, 19 October 2015

Autumn Walks

A quick outfit post today to share what I wore over the weekend...brief because as well as trying to get all the odds and ends tied up before going away, I'm also trying to get the packing right for the trip, taking into account the weather and all the performances we have while we're there. I have prepared a short post to show you what I'm bringing with me - fingers crossed, I'll get it up on the blog tomorrow evening.
But for now, a few photos from a walk yesterday. The day was just gorgeous and the light was perfect so my 11-year-old took a few pictures...
Coat – Mango (past season - this season's here)
Jeans – Replay
Navy top – Dorothy Perkins (past season)
Trainers – Onitsuka Tiger (past season but similar on sale here)
Scarf – new stock at the shop
Note: the shop is closed until Wednesday 28th while I'm away in Boston

Okay better get back to the packing and the last minute shop orders. Watch out tomorrow for the packing post and all about what's going to happen on here while I'm away.

Have a great Monday,

Ax

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Thursday, 15 October 2015

AW15 TU at Sainsburys - and it's all ONLINE!

I can't take all the credit for Sainsburys FINALLY getting their clothing range online but I like to think I played a small part because every time I met someone from their head office at events, I badgered them about the lack of an online shop. It just didn't make sense that a business of their size and scale couldn't make things easy and convenient for their core market - busy mums who either have kids with them in-store (hindering the shopping experience!) or only get a chance to shop outside of traditional trading hours.

Anyway, hats off to Sainsbos - the site is now live and I was privileged to be given the opportunity to road test the online offering and the click & collect option from my nearest store...which is free of charge for all orders over £15.

My budget was £100 and it took me ages to decide what to order - as there was so much choice and I was trying to keep my current wardrobe in mind - ensuring I ordered a good selection of items that will work with lots of what I already have. Here's what I ordered and I think I did quite well on the wearability side of things...

Starting with a cape - this one has sold out once before and had just come back into stock last week. I tried it with and without a belt but preferred it without.
The fabric is great - it's soft but a bit 'grippy' if that makes sense? So it doesn't keep falling off your shoulders as other capes would tend to, though I appreciate it depends what you wear it over. Here I am wearing it on a walk on Sunday:
Camel & Black Check Cape - TU at Sainsubrys £16
Boots - Mango (past season)
Jeans - see below!
Black oversized knit & scarf - H&M (past season)
Black Cross Body Bag - Boden (past season)

Capes are a tricky one - you'll either love them or hate them but if you can get over the slagging from the men in your life making Clint Eastwood jibes, they are fabulous for this time of year and are very on-trend. This is a complete bargain at £16 so perfect for trying out the trend if you're not sure.

Next up - the coatigan and I was so excited about this and can confirm that the tags were off within minutes of trying on. Just a fab colour way (also available in a blue version), great weight, goes fab with grey and is wonderful for throwing on to go out or just to lounge around the house in the evenings. It's reminiscent of a Zara one that sold out a few months back.
Pink Maxi Cardigan - £22
Handbag - see below!
Grey Knit - H&M, Grey skinny combats - Uniqlo, Grey scarf - Zara (all past season)
Boots - Seven Boot Lane
Also in these photos, you'll see the burgundy cross body bag that I ordered on a bit of a whim. I'm not a fan of non-leather bags but the colour and shape of this grabbed me and I decided to try it, fully expecting to send it back but I'm going to keep it.
Just adore the colour and the dinky wee shape of it. I don't have a burgundy bag so it's a great addition to the autumn/winter wardrobe.
Purple Double Compartment Grab Bag - £16
The next successful piece were these skinny jeans and listen up if you're a pear shape - they are the BEST pear-shape jeans I've ever come across. Seriously impressed with them and have ordered the black also since trying these on.
Mid Denim Sculpted Skinny Jeans - £20
They're high waisted but not ridiculously so and they fit me absolutely perfectly on the waist and the hips. The 10 fits me so I'd say they're a bit on the generous side - size down if you're in-between.
I also picked up this swing jersey top fully not expecting to keep it but it's great. A lovely fit in the 12 and a great layering piece with a cute pattern.
Black Geo Print Swing Top - £12
Finally - one item that's going back...this boho inspired dress which just isn't me. I didn't try it on as it was huge (size 12) & too long for me (seemed much longer than it looks on the online model). I do think on someone taller, it would look fab with a long cardigan, long boots and a belt. With both navy and black in the pattern, it's really versatile.
Multicoloured Paisley Print Tunic - £18
So I was happy with all but one of the items I ordered - I think that's a result. Plus, I've now got 5 items that are going to work really hard in my wardrobe over the next few weeks and months. All for less than £90.

In terms of the click & collect experience, I ordered my items on a Thursday night and got a text on Saturday morning to say they had arrived at my local store. Collection was simple and hassle free at this store and the items were well packaged and on hangers.
I've since ordered the black jeans on named day delivery costing £4.95, which I feel is a great price to guarantee when your item will arrive. I'll report back on this tomorrow - also on whether the fit is the same between the blue denim and the black denim. If it is, the black ones are getting a trip to the USA next Wednesday!

UPDATE - the black has arrived and the fit is virtually identical - very happy with them and also with the named day delivery which arrived as promised.

All in all, bravo to TU clothing on a great AW15 range and on finally getting online. Oh and for all my readers outside of the UK, delivery isn't currently available to you. Hopefully in the future - I'll keep up my campaign :)

Ax
Disclaimer - Thanks to the team at TU Clothing at Sainsburys for giving me the opportunity to try out the new range and the new online website. I was given a voucher to spend on my choice from the range. I was not paid or obliged to blog about it and all the words are my own. As always, thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog.




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Friday, 9 October 2015

Random musings for the Weekend...

Have lots of things bouncing around my head right now - things I've spotted out and about, articles I've read, shoes I want to buy (nothing new there) and feedback from friends who were at my Boden party. All of which I thought you might like to read about - so I'm going to try to craft it into a semi-coherant blog post :)

First up, I had book club last night on my street. Several of my neighbours had bought items from the Boden party that I'd not tried on or that hadn't come with my party stock. Before I share, don't forget that there's 50% off selected items in the Boden sale until Sunday! Two of the colour ways in The Mac on this link are down to £64!
But back to book club - The Stretch Heeled Boots were gorgeous in the flesh. The neighbour who bought them was wearing with black skinny jeans and they were just so flattering on the leg thanks to the stretchy panels up the leg. They'll also look amazing with skirts and dresses. Only on 10% off at the moment. If you're between sizes, go up.
Another friend was wearing this dress and it was stunning on her....the dip at the back of the neckline is just so pretty and the fit was great on her petite frame - she had ordered the petite sizing and was very pleased with the length.
Finally, the Swing Tunic was bought by two of my school gate mum friends and they are both raving about it:

Speaking of fantastic sales, I've got a flash sale on the blog shop at the moment too - on this link. I'm only running it until Sunday and there's not much left a the moment but it's a great opportunity to pick up some Christmas presents (sorry...but I know some of you are super organised in this regard!)

I've been enjoying catching up with a few magazines this week as my friend left me over a couple of recent InStyle and Elle Magazines. I enjoyed reading about trouser shapes for this season and one of the fashion journalists was talking about boot/flare leg jeans enduring for a few more seasons. She suggested that for flare-shy girls out there (of which I am one), a black denim pair would be a good AW15 buy and I'm tending to agree. I don't like flares with flats but only wear heels when I'm going out so a black pair of bootlegs could be amazing for adding length and changing my usual going out silhouette of skinny jeans/floaty tops. I'm thinking a shorter, neater top paired with the flare or bootcut....
Anyway, it's got me looking and I'm definitely going to try them out and report back here. 
Quite liking these from Next:
and loving these from Whistles too:

While I was browsing for black jeans this week, I came across this this FAB Maison Scotch stripy top on the Feather & Stitch site and it's in their sale!! Just a gorgeous twist on a traditional breton (of which it's official - you CANNOT have too many)
I wanted to share a discount code for Shoe Therapy also - they've got 20% off at the moment with SHOE20 and I've just received my second pair from the team there as I loved my ballerina flats so much.
This time I went for the python loafers and I was fully expecting to send them back but they are seriously the most comfortable shoes I currently own. I am literally bouncing around in them! They're definitely coming to Boston with me.
Sizing wise, I went down to the 39 for these and they're perfect. I'd say they're on the wider side - more so than the ballerina.
Satchel from Studio Souk (details on this blog post)

And finally, I've been asked by lots of you about my plans for the blog and the future following on from my recent post where I was having wobbles about it all! I will be continuing with the blog but I've decided to close the shop after Christmas. After much reflection and hard staring at spreadsheets (yawn), it's clear to me that the shop is taking up too much time, time that I could be spending in paid work (that side of things is progressing also) and blogging. At the end of the day, blogging is what I love doing and while it's fabulous being able to source and sell gorgeous scarves and jewellery to all of you (and I get to 'borrow' items all the time for myself!!), it's an endeavour that requires investment and stock holding and the market is so competitive now, meaning that after I pay for packaging and stock and VAT and delivery etc...I make very little per item. 
So while I'm sorry to have to let it go, I know it's the right thing to do. But I'll go out on a high don't you worry - some gorgeous new scarves have just been added to the shop and more will arrive with me next week!

Finishing with a few outfits from this week...
Cashmere Poncho - Helene Berman ℅ Gray & Osbourn (AW14 - similar here)
Shirt - TMLewin (similar)
Jeans - Gap Outlet
Shoes - Shoe Therapy/Satchel - Studio Souk (as above)

Stone Pleather Jacket - Dunnes Stores (past season - similar here & here)
Jeans - Topshop (charity shop!)
Black Ankle Boots - Clarks (via eBay - similar here)
Scarf - to arrive next week (will be £15 and can be reserve via email)
Fur Gilet - Next AW14 - AW15 version here (similar here & here)
Jeans - Gap Outlet
Boots - Seven Boot Lane (SGS15 for 15% off)
Necklace - SGS Shop (sold out)

Have a super weekend my friends,

Ax

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